Some examples of my paintings inspired by reading about "African masks"
In a book about African masks, Ladislas Segy described African art as "an act of bringing truth into being.' Discussing mask-making in African tribes the carvers work with direct, spontaneous gestures to contain what man senses to be beyond form. It is a "concrete, focal point of concentration for the invisible" which man reaches for in states of prayer, or meditation, or perhaps emotional states. In Africa, the mask is created in this enthusiastic spirit and he qualifies that it "has a life of it's own" and as with all authentic works of art, it was born in a style which was "unaware of itself. "
To the Western eye, some of these African works may seem crude, but if they are born from that sense of the artist's truth, albeit a personal one, that should make it authentic in itself.
How you tell if the Art is coming from the person's Soul or not is rather difficult. For me, the works that I have created which have come forth almost unconsciously, without prior planning or too much thought, have in my opinion been done in such a way. They may not stand up to the scrutiny of the market, but they are coming from a place of truth - for me at least.